Cork go top after win in Portlaoise

Cork 0-18 Laois 0-9

Cork 0-18 Laois 0-9

Cork moved top of the Allianz NFL Division 2 tonight following a nine-point victory over Laois at O'Moore Park in Portlaoise.

All of Cork’s starting forwards were on target with Donnacha O'Connor top-scoring with nine points, equalling the Laois team total on his own.

Conor Counihan’s side were in stirring form as the hosts rued a poor opening quarter, which left them playing catch-up football for the remainder of the contest.

Cork fired on all cylinders in the opening half and led by 0-5 to 0-0 at the end of the opening quarter thanks to scores from O’Connor (2), Michael Cussen, John Hayes and Pearse O’Neill, with all of the Rebels' full-forward line quickly on target.

Laois finally opened their account in the 18th minute through an MJ Tierney free, the first of four first half points from the Ballyroan-Abbey free-taker.

Tierney's fourth point put just four points between the sides two minutes before the interval, but Cork held command at half-time on a 0-10 to 0-5 scoreline.

Laois matched Cork well in the third quarter, but scores from Tierney (2) and Kevin Meaney were cancelled out by a Pearse O'Neill point and an O'Connor brace.

Excellent efforts from Tierney and Meaney from play, in quick succession, rose the spirits of the home supporters inside a ten-minute spell.

However, Cork finished strongly to ensure their quest for a final berth and to retain top-flight status for next year remains intact.

CORK: A Quirke; R Carey, N O’Donovan, A Lynch; N O’Leary, G Canty, M Shields (0-1); A O’Connor, N Murphy; C McCarthy (0-1), P O’Neill (0-2), P O’Flynn (0-1); J Hayes (0-2, 0-1f), M Cussen (0-1), D O’Connor (0-9, 0-5f).

Subs used: P Kerrigan for McCarthy (36 mins, yellow card), K O'Connor for O’Donovan (45), A O’Sullivan for A O’Connor (51), K O’Sullivan for Hayes (57), J Masters (0-1) for N Murphy (61), G Spillane for Canty (65).

LAOIS: M Nolan; P Begley, C Ryan, R Stapleton; P O’Leary, D Rooney, P McMahon; P Clancy, B Quigley; B McCormack, Donal Brennan, B Sheehan; P McNulty, R Munnelly, MJ Tierney (0-7, 0-4f).

Subs used: K Meaney (0-2) for Sheehan (29 mins), A Fennelly for Begley (55), C Rogers for McCormack (57), N Donoher for McMahon, D Murphy for O’Leary (both 64).

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).

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